Survey Finds More Than Half of Companies Offer Products and Services Online

MENLO PARK, CA -- There's good news for consumers who prefer to do last-minute shopping from home this season to avoid the holiday crowds. In a recent survey, 60 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said their firms currently offer access to their products and services via the Internet, up from 47 percent two years ago.

The survey was developed by RHI Management Resources, North America's largest consulting services firm providing senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked, "Is your company currently offering online access to its products and services?" Their responses:

  2001 1999
Yes 60% 47%
No 39% 52%
Don't know/no answer     1% 1%
  100%    100%

CFOs of companies not currently utilizing the Internet for e-commerce were asked,"Which one of the following would contribute most to your decision to begin offering products or services online?" Of those citing a reason, their responses:

  2001 1999
Reduced cost of implementation 29%    28%
Greater technical expertise of internal staff 22% 26%
Not applicable to the product or service we offer   20% 18%
Improved security 15% 13%
Other   14%   15%
  100% 100%

"Making products and services available online enhances a company's speed to market, sales, competitiveness and customer contact," said Paul McDonald, executive director of RHI Management Resources. "And as consumers gain confidence and satisfaction in conducting Internet transactions, their demand for web-based 'browsing and buying' options will continue to grow."

McDonald notes, however, that in today's economy, keeping expenses in check is a growing concern. Therefore, firms are more carefully considering implementation costs as they assess the bottom-line impact of e-commerce initiatives.

RHI Management Resources has locations in major cities throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at



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